Date: June 24, 2020
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Beth Phoenix, Tom Phillips
It’s title night as Keith Lee is defending the North American Title against Johnny Gargano and Finn Balor in a triple threat match. That’s big enough, but the bigger story is that the winner will be facing Adam Cole for the NXT Title in a title vs. title match in two weeks. And yes, that is the same night as the second week of AEW Fyter Fest. Let’s get to it.
Mauro explains the main event.
Cameron Grimes has attacked Damien Priest.
Here’s Grimes for a chat. He accuses Priest of no showing the biggest match of his career by faking an attack in the parking lot. That’s fine with Grimes though and he’ll accept a forfeit win. Cue the banged up Priest though and we’re ready to go.
Cameron Grimes vs. Damien Priest
Grimes jumps him before the bell and gets punched down with a single right hand. Priest stomps away but misses a charge in the corner. He’s fine enough for the big sitout chokeslam but the ribs are too banged up to cover. Grimes teases walking out but managed to send Priest ribs first into the apron. The Cave In on the floor rocks Priest again, though he manages to beat the count. Back in and the regular Cave In finishes Priest at 3:16.
Rating: D+. More angle advancement than match here as Priest wasn’t going to be able to do much of anything with the banged up ribs. They’re doing a good job with having Grimes rack up wins though and we could be in for something big if he is ever give a push a little higher up on the card. The talking alone will get him a long way.
Rhea Ripley wants the Women’s Title back. A slightly less disheveled Robert Stone comes in to say Aliyah has officially signed with him. He rarely gives seconds chances but he’s willing to give Rhea another shot. Rhea hits him low and throws him in a trashcan. Aliyah comes up and a match is made for later.
Back at the Catch As Thatch Can wrestling school, Timothy Thatcher shows how to torture more people.
Santos Escobar vs. Jake Atlas
Non-title and Raul Mendoza/Joaquin Wilde are with him. Atlas starts fast with a running crossbody before snapmaring Escobar into a chinlock. An armdrag lets Atlas hammer and stomp away as Escobar isn’t starting well. There’s a running headscissors but Atlas gets distracted by the goons, allowing Escobar to knock him to the floor.
Back from a break with Escobar grabbing the chinlock and then switching to a seated abdominal stretch. Atlas fights up with some ax handles to the chest and a standing moonsault gets two. Another distraction makes Atlas dive onto the goons, though he’s back up in time to get two off a bulldog driver. Escobar catches him on top though and the Phantom Driver finishes Atlas at 10;31.
Rating: C. This was more of a way to establish that Escobar can win matches without the mask but with the goons, which worked well enough. Atlas losing so soon was a little surprising but it would seem that either Drake Maverick or possibly Isaiah Scott is going to be the real threat to the title anyway. This got its point across without being all that great, which is fine.
Earlier today, Roderick Strong was still undergoing therapy with Dr. Kyle O’Reilly in a bad disguise to overcome his fear of car trunks. Strong thinks he’s ready and somehow finally recognizes Kyle. All four of them go outside and Strong gets in the trunk, which is immediately closed. The driver is told to pop the trunk and Strong gets out just fine. Tonight, he gets to face Dexter Lumis and he’s ready for that too. Well, maybe at least.
Malcolm Bivens and Indus Sher are ready for Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan.
Video on the North American Title match. All three of them want to be champion, but they also all want to get their hands on Cole and the NXT Title.
Video on Karrion Kross.
Kacy Catanzaro/Kayden Carter vs. Raquel Gonzalez/Dakota Kai
Carter chops at the much bigger Gonzalez to start and gets powered down. Kacy comes in and it’s a double shot to the leg to send Gonzalez into the middle rope. Back in and Carter catapults Catanzaro into a Thesz press for two on Kai. A Gonzalez threat distracts Catanzaro enough for Kai to send her into the corner though and things slow down.
Cater makes a save off a powerslam and comes in to kick Kai in the face. It’s back to Catanzaro but the delay lets Gonzalez come in. Cater launches Catanzaro at Gonzalez, who powerbombs the heck out of her. Kai comes in with the reverse Rings of Saturn for the tap at 4:06.
Rating: C-. This was more a showcase for Gonzalez and that’s a good idea. She’s so much bigger than almost the entire division that she is going to stand out in a big way. That’s what she did here and while she’s fine as a bodyguard at the moment, she could be a nice enough force in the division in the future.
Post match Kai says she wants the Women’s Title.
Bronson Reed vs. Karrion Kross
Scarlett is here with Kross. Reed gets thrown around to start but pops up yelling with a kick to the head. They slug it out until Kross hits a northern lights suplex. A hard clothesline drops Reed again and it’s the Doomsday Saito into the Krossjacket to finish Reed at 2:19. Reed brought it for awhile there.
Adam Cole doesn’t care who he faces.
Mercedes Martinez is coming.
Rhea Ripley vs. Aliyah
Robert Stone is here with Aliyah. Rhea starts with the power but Aliyah snaps her throat first across the top. Aliyah’s high crossbody is pulled out of the air but she goes to the eyes for a break. Ripley powers her down again though and it’s a running basement dropkick for two. The Prism Trap goes on so Stone gets on the apron and throws in his shoe. The chase is on and Ripley rips off Stone’s jacket. Aliyah’s cheap shot fails and Riptide is good for the pin at 3:04.
Rating: D+. What else were you expecting here? I’m getting some good chuckles out of Stone being humiliated every single week as it’s certainly a different twist on the classic manager trope. It’s a funny idea and it’s not like anything is being hurt since it’s so low level. Ripley beat Aliyah in short order as she should have so it was entertaining all around. Not good mind you, but fun.
Roderick Strong vs. Dexter Lumis
Bobby Fish has to make Strong go to the ring. Strong bails to the floor to start and gets stalked around the ring by Lumis. The slow motion chase sees Strong hit the Plexiglas and that’s enough for Strong, who runs off for the countout at 1:47. They never made contact.
Post match Fish is annoyed and it’s made even worse as Lumis chokes him for a bit.
Robert Stone asks William Regal for one more match between Aliyah and Ripley. Regal agrees and makes it a handicap match, but Stone wants one more thing: if Ripley loses, she joins the Robert Stone Brand. Ripley pops in and accepts for next week.
Also next week: Mia Yim vs. Tegan Nox vs. Dakota Kai vs. Candice LeRae for the next shot at Kai.
Also next week: Strong vs. Lumis in a strap match.
North American Title: Keith Lee vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Finn Balor
Lee is defending and the winner faces Cole, title for title, in two weeks. Gargano drops to the floor at the bell so Balor launches himself at Lee to no avail. That lets Gargano come back in for a failed rollup attempt, meaning it’s Lee running both challengers over in a hurry. Back from a break with Balor’s sleeper not doing much good on Lee, as he powers Balor into the corner.
Lee northern lights suplexes both of them at the same time and then taking them to the floor. Balor catches Lee with a Sling Blade though and Gargano hits a running flip dive off the apron. A double team sends Lee into the steps and we take another break. Back again with Gargano hitting the slingshot spear for two on Balor, who is right back up with a suicide dive to keep Lee on the floor. The Final Cut gets two on Gargano back inside and Balor goes to the corner….but Lee rises up next to him.
Lee slingshot crossbodies both of them down but Balor goes for Lee’s legs. That’s fine with Lee, who puts him in an electric chair but gets caught in a sleeper. Gargano superkicks Lee down and hits Balor with the One Final Beat for two. A tornado DDT plants Lee while also kicking Balor in the chest but Lee bails to the floor. Gargano hits a suicide dive on Lee but Balor blocks a second attempt.
1916 to Gargano on the floor is broken up by Lee’s Pounce (Why?) and it’s time to go back inside. The Spirit Bomb to Balor is countered into a stomp to the chest but Gargano superkicks them both. A rollup with feet on the ropes gets two on Lee, who hits the Big Bang Catastrophe on Gargano. Balor’s Coup de Grace save hits Gargano, so Lee adds another Big Bang Catastrophe to finish Balor at 19:42.
Rating: B. Good stuff here and I wasn’t sure who was going to win until the end, which is always a nice feeling. Lee winning is the right call though as he has been on such a roll as of late that it makes sense for him to have the big showdown with Cole. Balor can come later and Gargano feels like he is always going to be around, but it’s Lee’s time at the moment.
Post match Cole comes in for the staredown with both titles being held up to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. Outside of the main event, the wrestling was absolutely nothing worth writing home about this week. That being said, the point of the show was to get us ready for the next two weeks (with next week being announced as the Great American Bash as we came back from a main event commercial) and it did that well enough. I’m not wild on some of the matches we’ll be seeing, but they were set up properly and that’s what matters most here. Not a great show, but it did what it was supposed to.
Cameron Grimes b. Damien Priest – Cave In
Santos Escobar b. Jake Atlas – Phantom Driver
Dakota Kai/Raquel Gonzalez b. Kayden Carter/Kacy Catanzaro – Reverse Rings of Saturn to Catanzaro
Karrion Kross b. Bronson Reed – Krossjacket
Rhea Ripley b. Aliyah – Riptide
Dexter Lumis b. Roderick Strong via countout
Keith Lee b. Johnny Gargano and Finn Balor – Big Bang Catastrophe
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